Your complete guide to all the new Mountain Bike trails in Northern Ireland. 2013 is a big year in Northern Ireland for mountain biking with the launch of 4 brand new trails. Our rugged landscapes and spectacular backdrops make Northern Ireland an ideal location for mountain biking with the Sperrins and Mourne Mountains right on our door steps – there’s no better way to explore our place than by bike. Whether you’re an adrenaline junkie or looking for a family friendly day out – you’ll find a suitable trail for you in Northern Ireland. Check out our guide to some of our top Biking trails and events.
Rostrevor Mountain Bike Trails
On the shores of Carlingford Lough, the Rostrevor Mountain Bike Trails offer some challenging mountain biking where efforts are rewarded with incredible coastal views and exhilarating singletrack descents. With a mouth watering 27km red trail and a hair raising 19km black trail Rostrevor is believed by many to be the top spot for mountain biking in Ireland. When you add not just one but two purpose-built downhill trails to the mix, there’s no denying it… Rostrevor is a mountain bikers’ haven! The trails are open to the public from May 10th.
Davagh Forest Trails
Davagh Forest lies in an untouched rural landscape of rolling hills and sweeping forests. Located approximately 6 miles north west of Cookstown, the official network of purpose-built trails includes over 10km of family-friendly green and blue grade mountain-biking trails as well as 3 km of riverside and woodland walking trail. The 16 km red trail at Davagh Forest starts with a long steady climb before opening up fabulous views, exhilarating descents and some extreme slab features. Davagh Forest is now on the wish list of mountain bike enthusiasts all across the UK.
Family fun at Blessingbourne
The Blessingbourne Mountain Bike Trails, near Fivemiletown, lie in the heart of the Clogher Valley close to the border between counties Tyrone and Fermanagh. Packed full of technical trail features such as berms, table tops and rock drops, the trails at Blessingbourne cater for all ages and abilities and always provides a fun day out. Trails include a 6km track around the estate with some more technical red loops splitting off at various sections. Visitors can also try out the pump track; a short criss-crossing circular trail of rollers and berms where you use your weight distribution on the bike to flow over the features without having to use your pedals. Blessingbourne also offer self-catering holiday apartments making it a perfect destination for a family activity break. The courtyard apartments have a range of different sleeping options ranging from 2-5 people. They are tastefully decorated with lots of local craft and art work and home from home comforts. Arriving visitors find homemade wheaten bread, jam and shortbread. Owners Nick and Colleen Lowry welcome children who can run around without a care in the world and enjoy the freedom of Blessingbourne.
Barnett Demesne Trails
The Barnett Demesne Trails start from the Mary Peters Track in South Belfast and consist of a shared use 3.4km green trail and an 3.9km blue trail with 3 red loop options (1.5km). With Ireland’s first official purpose-built jumps park boasting no less than 6 lines of mouth-watering table-tops, doubles and hip jumps, these trails tick all the right boxes! The Barnett Demesne Jumps Park has been designed to suit mountain bikers searching for that all important adrenaline fix! The 3.4 km Green trail, meandering along the River Lagan and is wide with gentle inclines, making it ideal for young families and those giving mountain biking a go for the very first time. The blue trail consists of tight, winding singletrack perfect for beginners with a bit more confidence right through to experienced riders. And for those more skilled bikers there are three red options off the main blue trail which boast a number of more technical trail features including elevated boardwalk, log rides, berms, rock gardens, rollers and drops.
Officially launching on the 10th May, the Castlewellan Biking Trails will be the newest addition to this top class visitor attractions which already features one of Northern Ireland’s most famous lakes, a stunning Victorian Castle and incredible panoramic views. With green, blue and red grade trails (including black options) Castlewellan is a must-visit for mountain bikers of all ages and abilities. The green trail offers a gentle circular track which hugs the lakeshore and passes past under the shadow of Castlewellan Castle. The 4.5Km easy going Blue Trail begins by running parallel to Castlewellan Lake on an elevated singetrack trail with incredible panoramic views before rejoining the gentler green route back to the trailhead. Whilst the 19km Red trail offers more experienced Bikers a great afternoon out. The red trail enjoys the initial flowing singletrack and incredible views found on the blue trail before splitting off and ascending behind Castlewellan Castle and past a number of little known smaller lakes.
Belfast City Bike Tour
If you fancy something a bit more leisurely – The Belfast City Bike Tour is the ultimate way to see the city. The tour takes you around the city in style, hop on a California Cruiser and check out the key attractions & sights the city has to offer. The Bike tour is a brilliant way to start off a short break in Belfast, you’ll find your way around the city and also get to know where some of the hotspots are. The tour is done at a leisurely pace & only costs £15 pp.
There’s plenty more tracks and trails you can explore in Northern Ireland, for more information on cycling go to: discovernorthernireland.com/cycling/
Make a Break of it
Why not go for the full outdoor adventure experience in Northern Ireland with a short break – you’ll find great offers on unique accommodation including camper van hire, glamping, camping and cosy cottages! Our great value breaks start from £49 per room: discovernorthernireland.com/accomfinder/